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Waiting for surgery re: Kidney removal

DarrylPe's picture
DarrylPe
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi I was diagnosis wth stage 1 kidney cancer two weeks ago. I'm currently waiting for a date for the surgery. I would appreciate any advise on things to prepare for and, things to expect after surgery. Thanks in advance this is a wonderful site

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1529
Joined: Jan 2010

Dear DarrylPe,

Welcome to the club. Many of us like you and I with stage 1 RCC have a full recovery after the surgery. I am an 8 and 1/2 year survivor. The more you can tell us about your diagnosis and proposed surgery the more others and myself can respond appropriately to your concerns.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

DarrylPe's picture
DarrylPe
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Iceman thanks for the greeting .Long story short I went to see a hemotologist in May of 2010 because I experienced two viral infections that gave me a high fever and pain in my right flank. She then order a CAT scan which resulted in the finding of a mass measuring 4 X 4 X 2.9 cm on my right kidney. She refered me to a urologist who sent me to have both a CAT scan and a MRI. The latest result in February revealed that the mass had grown to 4 X 5.4 X 4.2 cm. My urologist sent me for a second opinion and the second doctor agreeded with him that the kidney should be removed . I was told that laporscopic surgery was the method that will be used to remove the kidney .I would appreiate any insight you can provide as to what to expect both before and after surgery.

Thanks
DarrylPe

Mhamby
Posts: 13
Joined: Feb 2011

Well, actually almost 6 weeks! Welcome Darryl. I had my right kidney removed via hand assisted laproscopy. I had the choice to go for a partial removal, but I wanted no chance of anything being missed (doc advised for the partial, but I wanted aggressive treatment), For me, the " gut clean out" prior to surgery was the worst part. I had a 3 day hospital stay. After surgery, I had great pain control, and I'm seeing my doc tomorrow to wean off. Due to a non-related issue I had longer narcotic relief than I think may be normal.I still find it uncomfortable to lay on my right side (in my head or physical, I'm not sure).
If you have any questions, ask away. Good luck! I like to say cancer picked the wrong diva - that works for dudes too!

DarrylPe's picture
DarrylPe
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Mhamby hope your feeling better and I wish you a speedy recovery. This whole thing is moving at a faster rate than I can wrap my head around it. I being reading other post and asking my doctor a few questions but I'm still trying to put it all together in my head .
Also what's the "gut clean out" if you don't mind me asking.

Thanks for your post
DarrylPe

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1529
Joined: Jan 2010

The gut clean out is the liquid plumber they give you the night before surgery to clean out your bowels. I think it goes by a different name than liquid plumber, but the result is the same. Your tumor is at least medium size for Stage 1 and there are no ifs and buts that you need this surgery. Mine was 2.7 cm and was laproscopically removed. There is always a chance that they may start laproscopically, but go to open surgery. There is no way I can sugar coat the surgery. I was in the hospital 2 days post surgery. My surgeon wrote on my discharge summary that I was discharged without pain. I did not know that he did stand up comedy on the side. After you are discharged you will be in bed or on the couch for 7-10 days and shou;d fell pretty normal by 6 weeks. The little scar from surgery will be swollen for a while. Hopefully you will need no further treatmet after the surgery.
You will have follow up tests several times the first year and than yearly thereafter.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

DarrylPe's picture
DarrylPe
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Iceman thanks for getting back. Good info and very reassuring.I got a date for the surgery today april 13 is the big day. I'm so glad I found this site nothing like the voice of experience to give you confidence.

Thanks Again

Darryl

Mhamby
Posts: 13
Joined: Feb 2011

I had to do clear liquid diet two days prior to surgery, then day before surgery it's laxative day and no eating or putting anything in you mouth (they mean it, like no chewing gum)...I just cramped a lot and was tied to the toilet in a most uncomfortable way. Your doc may have a different protocol.
I was thinking of you after I posted. Just wondering what was really important to know. You just discovered the speed with which things happen. You barely find out you have it and you have surgery, and then many of us don't require any further treatment. Some where else on this board you will find a thread about that (I was the original poster) -I think you may find helpful posts in that thread about how the speed can be a psychological challenge.
I really wish you well. You will find many friends on this site ready to lend an "ear" or offer support. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.
Meg

DarrylPe's picture
DarrylPe
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Meg great to hear from you and , thanks for the info. Everything is so new to me.I got a date today for the surgery it's April 13 can't wait to get this over with the unknown is killing me. You have helped clear some it up for me. Thanks for being there will keep you posted. Keep healing .

Thanks
Darryl

Mhamby
Posts: 13
Joined: Feb 2011

I'm putting your surgery date on my calandsr so I can pray for you that day, if that's ok with you. I believe this is one of those occasions we can all use a little grace!
Best wishes and keep us posted on how you are doing.
Meg

Jamie1.3cm's picture
Jamie1.3cm
Posts: 188
Joined: Jan 2011

I concur. You may be prescribed a gallon jug of purgative/laxative to drink the day before surgery. You drink a glass at a time, about every 15 minutes. It will send you running for the bathroom with urgent diarrhea, so stay close to a toilet. You'll drink the jug over a matter of several hours (6-8), and the doc will give you more specific instructions. Generally you are not allowed to eat anything this day (maybe jello and clear broth), but you'll be so full of the purgative, you won't mind so much.

You'll start running to the bathroom about half way through it, probably. You might also want to buy some moist wipes so that your bum doesn't get raw from all the wiping. It tastes like salt water, but if you get co-lytly or nu-lytly, you have flavor packs. Drink it chilled. Through a straw. Keep drinking and going until you are "running clear." "Running clear" means transparent diarrhea, probably tinted yellow, but no more pieces of poo. So, if you get that pre-surgery prescription, that's what that's like.

The day of surgery, you will probably have to be there at the crack of dawn. Surgery itself is no problem. You won't even be awake. Many people will be monitoring you very closely: your breathing, your pulse.

After surgery, you'll be rolled to your room. You will sleep the rest of the day. So, if your family has been waiting, it will be very anti-climactic for them as you will just sleep and sleep.

You may be put in control of your own pain med through a morphine machine -- you push the button to administer the med yourself. You'll be hooked up to fluids, maybe antibiotics, pain meds, and probably a urinary catheter (you won't feel it). You wont have to worry about needing to get up for a bowel movement because, remember, you're still empty! Slowly but surely, they'll wean you off the tubes and re-introduce light foods. To prevent blood clots, they'll have you up and walking the very next day. You just push your pole of IV bags around with you on your laps of the hallway. With laproscopic surgery you will likely be released in just a few days.

You are lucky to be having laproscopic surgery, as the whole point of laproscopic surgery is that it's a much smaller surgical incision. That means much less pain, a much shorter recovery, and a much smaller risk for hernia. You'll probably be on pain meds for a week or two. Your body did experience a shock, so you will feel knocked for a loop for several weeks.

All my surgeries have been open surgeries rather than laproscopic, so I'll leave it to the others to give more details on that specific recovery.

You can expect follow up appts with your urologist, and it's very important if your tumor is larger than 3 cm that you be screened with CT scans periodically.

Hope that helps and wasn't too graphic! : )

DarrylPe's picture
DarrylPe
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2011

Thanks Jamie not to graphic at all in fact it was just what I needed.The straight truth works best for me. I'm so greatful for people like you who can provide me insight that can only come from a survivor .

Thanks
DarrylPe

antjeanne's picture
antjeanne
Posts: 13
Joined: Aug 2010

I agree with Jamie,She nailed it. My surgey was 8 months ago,i had a 4.9 cm on my left kidney.and had the whole kidney removed with the hand assisted laproscopy. i was in the hospital 5 days. i would say about 2 months ago is when i felt close to being back to normal activity/sports wise. just after the surgery i would get tired very easy. just walking to the kitchen for lunch required a nap after. listen to your body, it will tell you when you need to rest. dont over do it! i thought i was super man and over did it and spent 2 days in bed.
alot of my issues were mental and not physical. while i was in pain after the surgery ,the big part for me was getting over the words "you have Cancer" .My Dr spent alot of time talking to me before the surgery. and it helped. he told me i could be sad that i have cancer. or jump up and down that i got a miricle and they found my cancer by accident, and as soon as the surgery was over I didnt have cancer any more. I choose to be happy that I am a survivor,(I just had my 3rd post surgery check up Thursday and im still clean!).Time is the important thing. you will forget about the little pain/discomfort you had after the surgery. But you will remember the rest of your life! and enjoy everyday and your family. God brought you this far and is going to heal you for a reason.
Be Blessed.

Jamie1.3cm's picture
Jamie1.3cm
Posts: 188
Joined: Jan 2011

Yea, it should definitely be mentioned that you can live a perfectly normal life on just one kidney. Hopefully your dr will be able to leave you with half, but if not, that's ok too. People do just fine with one. I wouldn't go on any all-protein diet or anything else that would stress out that one kidney, but one is fine.

As alluded to above, there is such a thing as post-surgical depression. You may experience it; you may not. But if you do feel bummed after surgery, it's perfectly normal and it will pass.

DarrylPe's picture
DarrylPe
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Antjeanne glad to hear about your last check up keep doing what your doing. I glad you mentioned that after surgery one should take it easy and listen to there body. I tend to think that I'm superman too so I'll keep what you said in mind.

Stay Strong
DarrylPe

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1529
Joined: Jan 2010

DarrylPe,

While your big day is coming on April 13, the tax man cometh on April 15. Take care of him before the big day.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

trulytall's picture
trulytall
Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2011

Yes, no doubt this is an extremely anxious time for you and I'll definitely be thinking and praying for you on the day of your surgery. I agree with everyone else, listen to what your body is telling you and rest when you need to. I'm reminded daily about how blessed I am to be here and celebrating life with my family and friends. I'm 8 weeks post-op and recovering well from radical surgery (complete removal)of my left kidney.
Stay strong and positive.
Wishing you all the best.

DarrylPe's picture
DarrylPe
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2011

Thanks for the kind thoughts . best to you with your recovery.

Happy Healing
DarrylPe

DarrylPe's picture
DarrylPe
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi everyone quick question. Did anyone have swelling in their legs before their diagnosis was made?

autumn4
Posts: 18
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi there and welcome! I had a small tumor on my rt kidney 1 x4cm and they did cyroablation (freezing) of the tumor. It is supposedly the new standard treatment for small tumors. I had the surgery back in September 10. I did have a post op infection abcess on the rt kidney that landed me back in the hospital and at that time my legs ankles and feet became very swollen. They said my creatine levels were elevated and once they flushed the kidneys and rehydrated me the swelling dissapated. I know their are other health conditions that can cause that so I would ask your dr. Good luck with your surgery, will be praying for you.

VeryAnxious
Posts: 67
Joined: Sep 2010

Hi Darryl. Good luck to you. I think the waiting is the worst part. It gives us too much time to worry and THINK. I also will keep you in my thoughts. I went robotically and had to wait 8 weeks. I think it is the hardest waiting we have to do. Keep busy and TRY TO KEEP POSITIVE THOUGHTS. It is easier said than done. Take care of yourself before surgery. Eat well and be well rested. I found the better shape you are in before helps some. This is a great site for feedback since I have found no one quite understands like a fellow cancer survivor. It is like a bad dream but it will be over.

DarrylPe's picture
DarrylPe
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2011

Greetings VeryAnxious. Your right this waiting is killing me. I'm sure I'll be alright and the support from this site is amazing. Your in my thoughts and prays stay strong.

Thanks
DarrylPe

DarrylPe's picture
DarrylPe
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Autumn4. I not sure what my last creatin level was but I know it was higher then normal I'll check with my doctor. Stay strong and Thanks for the info and your prays you'll be in mine also

Thanks
DarrylPe

Granpa299
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2011

Ha the best think u can do is after sur get out of bed and walk as
Mouch as u can start easy evin if the first cupple of times is just around the be walking easy at first evion 3 or 4 hr after surgery I had several surager related to my kindey cancer and it worked hope this helps Rick

DarrylPe's picture
DarrylPe
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Rick I'll be sure to take your advice I heard that it's hard to walk after surgery but I give it my best
Thanks
Darryl

gramma512
Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2011

I had hand assisted laparoscopic removal of my right kidney seven weeks ago for a baseball sized tumor. It was found accidentally on December 16, 2010 and removed February 16, 2011. I barely had time to think about it before it was over. The worst part pre-op is that horrible cleansing, but the good news is it will help your doctor move your colon around during surgery. I was told it would make the initial days after surgery more comfortable, too. So as bad as it is, just plan to do it and stay at home. I think I was told that surgery took about 4 hours. I know I woke up in my room around 11:30 pm and was up walking the next morning at 5:30 - on my own, just me and the IV tube. I only made it two doors down in the hallway, but it was a start. Force yourself to make those walks two or three times a day while you are in the hospital. If my doc's resident had had it his way, I would have been walking constantly any time I was awake - but that isn't realistic. You will be very tired. I wasn't prepared for how much I slept the first few weeks. I spent 4 days in the hospital, but that was mainly because I was 5 hours from home and they wanted to be sure I had started passing gas before they would allow me to leave. The colon is the last body part to "wake up" after this surgery (maybe all surgeries, I don't know). As gross as it sounds, the gas lets them know that the colon is once again functioning. I wasn't given any meal restrictions after the first day, but be aware that if you eat many solid foods before your colon is "awake" you may regret it. I did. I wanted to go home so bad I sent my husband out for Krystal burgers...little southern goodies that are full of flavor and never fail to send me running for the bathroom under normal circumstances just a few hours after indulging. Needless to say, they didn't work their magic and I was miserable. If you want to help yourself reach this little milestone so you can get out of there, ask your nurse to bring you warm prune juice. Choke it down, it works. My husband was worried sick about making a 5 hour drive back through the mountains with me, but I just took a Percocet every 3 hours and kept a pillow behind my back and on my lap to cushion any bumps he failed to miss. Hopefully you won't have that kind of drive to deal with. Once home, I spent the first week propped up on the couch - slept there and ate there. I got up only to walk several times a day. When I wasn't up walking, I was sleeping. I was finally comfortable lying flat in the bed about 10 days post op and could sleep on my left side by the 3rd week post op. By 4 weeks, I could sleep on my right side. I went back to work part time after 4 weeks, and full time at 6 weeks. Yesterday was 7 weeks since my surgery. I still don't have 100% of my energy back, but was told by my urologist that I probably wouldn't until 12 weeks. Don't push yourself too hard, get plenty of rest, drink lots of water, exercise as much as you can through walking those first weeks, and enjoy your recovery time the best you can. Regular life starts back soon enough. Thank God that if you had to have cancer, you got one that they can easily remove. I'll be praying for you.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1529
Joined: Jan 2010

With support from Granpa299, grama512 and Icemantoo (a grandfather of five) this Surgery should be a pice of cake. My only warning is that the pain medication can make you constipated and no rationale person wants to be constipated a week after this surgery.

Best wishes

Icemantoo

DarrylPe's picture
DarrylPe
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2011

I love this site thanks Gramma 512 it hadn't occurred to me that i might not be able to lay flat in my own bed. I just told my wife to get the couch prepared. Thanks for the prays.

Best Wishes
Darryl

puppetman
Posts: 53
Joined: Apr 2011

Hi, I found out 3 weeks ago that I have a 4cm cancer on My right kidney, after seeing 2 doc's about it, they send Me to a 3rd Doc that wants His own Cat scan of My right kidney, He says from the report from the 2nd Doc that it is at the top of my kidney, and He might be able to take only half of the right kidney, I go get the new cat scan on the 6th of this month, and go see Him on the 11th , I heard that I will be in a lot of pain after "I can take a lot of pain real good, pain don't bother Me" I am not bothered about the cancer, I have 100% Fath in God to know I will be ok, what I want to know is how many Weeks after I get out of the hospital before I can do stuff , I play the Easter Bunny for a store around this time of year "in a few days", I wear a bunny suit, I am not bothered by pain, I just want to play the bunny as soon as I can after I get out of the hospital, can anyone let me know how soon I can start doing stuff? Seeing and making Children happy is all that matters to Me.

Thanks
Gary

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1529
Joined: Jan 2010

There are wide ranges in a normal racovery. After my surgery over 8 and 1/2 yeas ago I was in the hospital for 2 days and than on the couch for 8 days. After that I started to feel better everyday and by 6 weeks I could do most everything. If you have your surgery before Easter you are going to have to skip being the Easter Bunny this year. If your Surgery is after Easter you will be able to do this.

Good luck and Best Wishes

Icemantoo a/k/a Garry

puppetman
Posts: 53
Joined: Apr 2011

Thanks, that stuff I will have to drink to clean me out, will it make me sick?

puppetman
Posts: 53
Joined: Apr 2011

When I get my right kidney out, I will have one left, lol that was a joke "one left", but I will have my iPod with my in the hospital, so after my kidney is removed. I can still be on here in the hospital.

icemantoo's picture
icemantoo
Posts: 1529
Joined: Jan 2010

The liquid plumber should not make you sick. You will be uncomfortable. You probably will not feel well enough to use the iPod in the day or two after surgery. The one good thing about this is that surgery is better than the alternative. With a small tumor the odds are that the surgery will be a cure although you will have follow up tests for years.

Best wishes,

Icemantoo

puppetman
Posts: 53
Joined: Apr 2011

Thanks for the info

DarrylPe's picture
DarrylPe
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2011

I like that joke may I use it? it's good to see that you have a sense of humor. My surgery is on April 13th this site has helped me alot with invaluable info let me know whens your surgery so I can pray for you .
Good Luck
Darryl

puppetman
Posts: 53
Joined: Apr 2011

puppetman
Posts: 53
Joined: Apr 2011

I sure will, I will also Pray for You, it's kind of strange but this cancer isn't getting Me down any, I am a Christian with a lot of Fath in God, I know He will take care of Me.

puppetman
Posts: 53
Joined: Apr 2011

Sure You can use that joke

antjeanne's picture
antjeanne
Posts: 13
Joined: Aug 2010

Dont be affraid to ask your DR for a sleep aid as your surgery gets closer. i couldnt sleep for 3 days before my surgery, i was so nervous.looking back,and knowing what i know now, i wouldnt have been as nervous. Trust in God, and pray and it will be just fine.

puppetman
Posts: 53
Joined: Apr 2011

I will be going tomorrow to see the Doc. to see when I will be going into the hospital , I will post on here what He says.

antjeanne's picture
antjeanne
Posts: 13
Joined: Aug 2010

You will be on some heavey meds after surgery, be carefull with the ipod. lol. My wife took my blackberry from me to prevent me from posting on facebook while hitting the morphine button.

puppetman
Posts: 53
Joined: Apr 2011

That is what I was going to use My iPod for, lol

Jamie1.3cm's picture
Jamie1.3cm
Posts: 188
Joined: Jan 2011

As D-day approaches for you, you might want to take care of all the heavy lifting at home since you won't be able to lift things for a while. For me, that would mean buying/carrying in some extra containers of cat litter, taking out the trash and recycling, buying/bringing in some extra boxes of bottled water, that kind of thing.

Just in case they don't give you one at the hospital, I found those big white stretchy velcro abdominal belts to give me extra support, which helped with the pain. Also, you might want to track down a shower chair. It's more comfortable to sit in the shower after surgery than to stand. Of course, I'd also time my pain meds for 20 min before a shower.

Be sure all the bills are paid for the next 2-3 weeks.

puppetman
Posts: 53
Joined: Apr 2011

thanks, that sounds like a good thing to do, get done with all the heavy stuff before I go into the hospital, I went and got a new ct scan done, and I will go this Monday to see My Doc to see when He will put Me in the hospital to get My right kidnew out, when I ge see Him Monday I hope He will put Me in the hospital afew daws after that.
I am almost 46, but still live with My Parents "Mom is 81 and not in good health, and My Dad is 85 and not in good health" so I hope He keeps Me in the hospital as long as He can, My Mom and Dad is in no shape to help take care of Me.

puppetman
Posts: 53
Joined: Apr 2011

I will go this Monday to see my Doc to see when I will have my right kidney out, I already have alot of back pain , I have 6 herniated disc in my back and 2 in my neck plus a plate in my neck, so I already have alot of pain, I just wonder how much more pain I will have?

puppetman
Posts: 53
Joined: Apr 2011

I will be going to see the Doc. Tomorrow at 3:15 "mississippi time" to see when I will have to go into the Hospital, I will let You all know what He says.

puppetman
Posts: 53
Joined: Apr 2011

I went to see My Doc today, He told Me that He will have to remove all of My right kidney, but the good news is that He said I could wait till after Easter so I can be the Bunny, I was so happy to hear that.

Jamie1.3cm's picture
Jamie1.3cm
Posts: 188
Joined: Jan 2011

Hey Darryl, this should be your prep day, eh? Good luck. Stay home. Take it easy. Don't forget to use the moist wipes. : ) What kind of prep did your doc prescribe for you?

DarrylPe's picture
DarrylPe
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Jamie thanks for remembering. I went to pre op screening today and they forgot to send over my doctors order so that only took my vitals and gave me basic info. my doctor said that he did not like to prescribe the gut cleaner. He has had me avoid taken any meds that would thin out my blood etc. asprin, tyenol for the last eight days. I was alright till I was describing to a friend how the surgery would be done and all the risk suddenly became real. Having troulbe sleeping the last tonights but I have faith in God. Thanks for all the info and support talk to you soon.

All the best ,
Darryl

trulytall's picture
trulytall
Posts: 14
Joined: Mar 2011

I'll be thinking of you tomorrow Darryl. :)
Looking forward to hearing from you and how well the surgery went....keep us all posted.
All the best.
Denise

DarrylPe's picture
DarrylPe
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi Denise and thanks for the kind thoughts. You and all the others on this site have given me great support and help. I'm kind of nervious but , I have faith this morning my family and I prayed so off I go to the hospital .Talk to you all soon.

Thanks again
Darryl

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